Implementing failure demand reduction as part of a demand management strategy

Morris, Gareth and Walley, Paul (2021). Implementing failure demand reduction as part of a demand management strategy. Public Money & Management (Early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09540962.2021.1978163

Abstract

Police forces, like much of the UK public sector, have struggled to meet the demand placed upon them because of real-term funding cuts and increases in some types of demand. Where increases in resource are not possible, attention has to be paid to the reduction of demand or the increase in effective capacity through efficiency gains. Within the literature, ‘failure demand’ is seen as unnecessary demand, caused by errors and repeated work that could be eliminated. This article reports on the analysis of failure demand at one police force as a method of sustainably reducing demand. The findings suggest 30% of non-urgent demand entering the system could be avoided. However, not all of this avoidable demand has been eliminated so far. The article explores the necessary system changes to reduce failure demand and the management challenges to achieve effective change.

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